Who is the rude one?
October 25, 2012 8:26 PM   Subscribe

What is appropriate in terns of modifying a home cooked meal?

Andy and Barbara are married. Three or four times a week Andy cooks dinner, which they eat together about ten minutes after Barbara gets home from work. Assume that Andy's cooking is no better than mediocre but he does make an effort to cook meals that are generally healthy and tasty, and chooses from a repertoire of foods which Andy and Barbara both enjoy. Andy sets the table before Barbara returns home.

Where do the following actions fall on a scale from 'normal and tasty' to 'rude and insulting' when performed by Barbara?

1) adding soy sauce or ketchup to a plated dish
2) reheating in the microwave food that has cooled due to tardiness to table
3) getting tortillas from the cupboard to make burritos out of the prepared meal
4) making pasta to go with a meal that is fully prepared and includes a starch such as potatoes or rice
5) returning a fully cooked dish to the stove in order to add an additional vegetable (example - adding tomatoes to a cooked stir-fry)
posted by bq to Food & Drink (63 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
2 is fine. 1 depends on the condiment and the dish. (I'd think less of someone's taste for, say, putting ketchup on a steak, unless it was a really bad steak. Unless the person is under five years old, anyway.)

3 is a little weird, but not really any more so than mixing everything together on one's plate (which is on the edge of bad manners, but it's not really that rude to the dinner-maker.) I can see why Andy would be annoyed by 4 & 5, but they also make me wonder why Andy doesn't consider Barbara's tastes and preferences for pasta and tomatoes when making the meal. It seems like they should plan meals together.

Understandable annoyance, but not rude or insulting, and easily avoidable from what you've said here.
posted by supercres at 8:36 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't consider any of it rude. People have different tastes, and just because Barbara likes different tastes from those Andy has prepared, doesn't mean she doesn't appreciate what he's done, nor does it mean she doesn't value him as a person. Even if Andy was a five star chef, not everyone would like his style of cooking. It's not a personal attack, it's just a taste preference. If Andy's self worth is so completely wrapped up in his cooking, he may need to think about why this is so.
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:43 PM on October 25, 2012 [23 favorites]

On a scale of one to ten, one being normal, ten being slap-in-the-face rude:
1) If done before tasting the food, 4.5, after 2
2) 1
3) 5
4) 6.5
5) 7
I'd bump those scores on 4 and 5 up a full point if the prep forces Andy to delay eating.

But like supercres, I'd say just plan your meals better. Meal planning is one of the few things texting is useful for in a healthy relationship, so do it. "Pasta or Potatoes with chic 2night?" "Are u putting tomatoes in stir-fry? Can u?"
posted by Rock Steady at 8:47 PM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

1 and 2 are nonissues. 3 could be taken as rude, 4 and 5 are rude.

But I would suggest that if Andy was getting uptight about 1 2 or 3, there are worse issues afoot. I see 4 and 5 as passive aggression or just different styles. But my kitchen is tiny and I hate when people are afoot. If someone wants a change, just ask.

It could just be that's how Barbara grew up- everyone doing their thing. Where Andy grew up in a "you'll eat it because you love me" family. Or is just uptight.
posted by gjc at 8:48 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Etiquette is a strange frame for this--not that etiquette doesn't apply between married couples, it just seems not to fully cover what Andy cares about. So for what it's worth, 1 and 2 would not hurt my feelings. 3 might. 4, 5, & 6 would. But Andy and Barbara probably just need to talk about this.
posted by willbaude at 8:53 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

These things might be rude were the participants not married. I would expect, in such a situation, that they could communicate with each other about their expectations (and flavour preferences).

If, on my cooking night, my SO wants to bin the dish and get a pizza, she's welcome to.
posted by pompomtom at 8:57 PM on October 25, 2012 [9 favorites]

1,2, and 3 seem just fine to me...and I'm the male that does the cooking for the female...none of those would bother me...

4 and 5 could be seen as a problem, but that depends 100% on the relationship...for some partners, this would be fine, for some it would result in divorce.... cats people are weird. Have a conversation and set some expectations that everyone can live with... because, if this is the extent of the problems in the relationship, congratulations, you must be doing a lot of things right!
posted by HuronBob at 8:59 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I cook 99% of our dinners and my husband and I are both fine with this arrangement. Zero of your items would bother me in the slightest. I would not find them rude at all, nor would I feel rude doing them.
posted by peep at 9:02 PM on October 25, 2012 [13 favorites]

Hi Andy. So sorry to hear you're insulted by your wife's reactions to your cooking. This is not really a question of what's rude or not, it's a question of whether your feelings are hurt. Norms are much less relevant than context, and your relationship is the context.

Talk about how it makes you feel, and I'm sure you'll hear that even if she doctors it some, she appreciates what you've done for her in cooking dinner. If not, perhaps you could shift cooking responsibilities to her more often.

And regardless of how the conversation goes, if cooking classes sound at all fun to you, sign up. Maybe the wife will take them with you!
posted by nadise at 9:03 PM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

If things like this happen once, or once in a while, it shouldn't be a big deal and Andy shouldn't be insulted. But if they keep happening every night, anyone could understand why he'd eventually feel a bit slighted. Really, it sounds like the issue here is a longer-term problem and perhaps some poor communication. Maybe Barbara isn't really all that happy with Andy's cooking, and the two of them should sit down, talk about that, and work out another dinnertime solution. Maybe that will mean eating out more, eating separately, or communicating better beforehand, or during the day, about what the meal is going to be so that Barbara can be happy with it when it's served — in any case, it's okay for Andy to want to feel his cooking is appreciated and it's also okay for Barbara to ask him to meet her specific food needs and desires.
posted by RogerB at 9:06 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

1 and 2 are definitely non-rude and totally normal.

3, 4 and 5 are a little ... I don't think rudeness/etiquette is the right way to frame this, really.

These things would be totally rude to do in someone else's house, but in one's home, customizing food to taste is not really abnormal.

It's obvious that this is hurting Andy's feelings, or this wouldn't be a question. But that's assuming a lot of personal judgement based someone else's food choices that probably isn't there. And if it's building up animosity -- likely on both sides -- then there's probably a communication/lack of understanding/difference of expectations issue here.

Food is a really, really, really loaded area, and the things your parents did in your house growing up can have a huge impact on what you think is normal or okay. And food is often tangled up with emotions in a big way -- but not for everyone, which could be part of the problem if Andy and Barbara put different emotional importance on food.

I can totally see how Andy could see this as Barbara basically declaring that he's unable to care for her properly or he'd get this right, while Barbara sees it as 'man, I am really feeling some pasta tonight, I think I'll make some'.

And if the divide is that big, then both Andy and Barbara are going to have to work on understanding where the other person is coming from and trying to work out an approach that's okay for both of them.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:07 PM on October 25, 2012 [9 favorites]

Using Rock Steady's scale (n a scale of one to ten, one being normal, ten being slap-in-the-face rude):
1) 1 if meal is a known quantity (something they make regularly, and Barbara knows she prefers it condiment-ed) or if Barbara does it after she tastes. 3 if she does it before she knows what it tastes like (this would indicate to me that either Barbara really loves ketchup/soy sauce, or that she knows Andy tends to skimp on those flavors in relation to her preference)
2) 1 if it's coincidental ("oops, everything didn't get done at the same time" or "oops, I ran late"), 3 if it's due to failure to pay attention of some kind, and 5 if it's due to Barbara just not deigning to show up to the table when the food is done
3) I'd actually call this a 1. Not because it's not odd, but because if I saw someone doing this I would assume it was a matter of them having food texture or styling issues and coping with it through burritos. And, well, if they want to cope that way, more power to them.
4) Somewhere from 1-6, depending on how well Andy knows that Barbara would have preferred pasta. If he knew she preferred pasta and chose to make potatoes, well, that's more Andy being inconsiderate. If he knew she preferred potatoes, and made potatoes, and she was like "Ew, potatoes", that's her being rude. If it's her getting home and going "Oh, I know I usually like potatoes, but I'm just craving pasta tonight!", I'd call it no harm, no foul for a married couple who feel they can talk honestly to each other.
5) 6 or 7, unless this was something Andy knew she preferred but he chose to leave out. Again, for a couple with a good relationship I would not find this offensive, since being honest means being able to say "Oh, but I wanted X, let me add it!" occasionally, but certainly it would give me pause if my SO did it do me.

But then, my arrangement with my SO goes something like "If we both like it, we'll both eat it. Otherwise, we'll figure something out ranging from 'every man for himself' to 'someone runs back to the store for something mutually agreeable'." So perhaps I have a more laissez-faire household than Andy and Barbara.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 9:07 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Andy needs to not be so sensitive, or do a better job taking into account Barbara's preferences. This is totally different for guests, but they're married and this is happening three or four times a week for the rest of their lives -- that's a lot of mediocre-at-best meals for Barbara to sit by and not improve.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:12 PM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

A better question is: How rude is it for Andy to prefer that Barbara eat cold, under-flavored food, or food that simply isn't to her liking, rather than modify it?

My answer: Very.
posted by parrot_person at 9:26 PM on October 25, 2012 [11 favorites]

...that's a lot of mediocre-at-best meals for Barbara to sit by and not improve.

If Barbara's standards are so high, maybe she should make dinner herself!

In all seriousness, if I was making dinner and my husband came and did most of those things (except the ketchup, which is a hill I don't care to die on)(but that's just a preference thing, you can't be too bothered by that one) I'd be suggesting he cook dinner instead. On the other hand, mostly I'm the better cook in our relationship, but when he cooks, I'm not second guessing and correcting him, either.
posted by thylacinthine at 9:27 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

None of these seem rude to me between a married couple. 2, 3, 4, and 5 would be rude if done by a guest, but when you're married - it's your house, it's your everyday life, you've got a right to eat the way you want. At least that's how I see it personally.

#1 is...that's what condiments are for.
posted by capricorn at 9:51 PM on October 25, 2012 [7 favorites]

None of these would bother me if my spouse did them. And I am guilty of at least 3 of those things on a regular basis and my spouse doesn't seem to mind.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:56 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

4 and 5 are rude. 1 is a little upsetting if done regularly. 2 is perfectly appropriate. 3 is reasonable, but my mother wouldn't think so.

But if I were Andy, I would not care or I would ask my SO what they wanted for dinner. I "Hey I'm making chicken tonight what do you want to go with it?"
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:34 PM on October 25, 2012

We both engage in 1-3, or some form (usually not a wrap for burritos, but making a sandwich is totally within range of normal).

4 and 5 are things we would never ever do. I mean, we have a kid so it's totally infeasible to remake a meal like that. But it would be something we absolutely discussed at the table while we ate. We always do - it's how we talk at the table.

"Hey, this is delicious" or "Man, I fucked up the timing on this" or "Next time you should totally do pasta, potatoes are a little weird" or "I reckon a tin of tomatoes in this would be awesome".

When my partner and I switched roles (he became a stay at home dad) we had a fair few misses with meals. Not awful, but just not up to our standards. Talking is how he learnt things that I, with my love of cooking, took for granted. So now he's totally at ease in the kitchen, makes his own taco seasoning, all that jazz. But it didn't happen because I left the table to make the meal different - it was because we discussed the food we were eating. So it's unlikely that either of us would need to make pasta because the one cooking remembered the last time we tried this and remembered the suggestions. If he kept making it the same way, with the same issues, I would probably go and fix it myself because it shows he doesn't give a fuck about the food itself, or my preferences.

That said, the times where we've had total meal failure, it's not at all upsetting to remake it in some way. Plonking cheese on an microwaving, adding another thing from the fridge, whatever is needed to make it edible.

But it would be good to know some more context - are these ongoing issues with certain meals? Is it just the failures? Do you talk about the food and take any suggestions on board? My in-laws have some odd rituals in their family about food and in one case there is no disscussion, no modification, or the chef gets angsty. In that case it'll be super hard to change any of these habits.
posted by geek anachronism at 10:57 PM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

I don't think this is about manners so much as it's about communication.

When Andy complains about his wife re-heating food, he's not really complaining about re-heating -- he's complaining that his wife doesn't come to the table when he tells her dinner is ready. No reasonable man expects his wife to eat cold food. But he can expect her to come to the table in a timely fashion unless there's a fair reason she can't (emergency phone call, bus was late, etc) and it sounds like Barbara isn't doing that.

Similarly, when Barbara makes pasta or adds tomatoes to a stir-fry, I don't think it's only about making her meal taste better. It's about her sitting down after a long day's work with a meal that she will enjoy and gain pleasure from eating, and it doesn't sound like that's a priority to Andy.

I suspect Andy and Barbara have worked themselves into a stasis where both of them feel they're in the right: Andy thinks his cooking isn't appreciated for what it is, and Barbara thinks Andy never listens to her when she tells him what she likes to eat. So he keeps on stubbornly making whatever he wants, and she keeps on stubbornly changing it, and both of them resent the other for their behaviour. And that resentment keeps looping around and feeding back onto itself.

Andy and Barbara should sit down and have a chat about it all, including the best ways to make their meals good for both of them. If Andy said in the morning, "I'm going to make beef stir-fry tonight, sound good?" and Barbara had the opportunity to say back, "Could you throw in those tomatoes from the fridge? I love those," wouldn't that solve most of the issues here?

(And Andy, man, he's got to give it up on the condiments. Let the woman have some resentment-free soy if she wants it.)
posted by Georgina at 11:04 PM on October 25, 2012 [20 favorites]

I do almost all the cooking, and none of these would offend me at all.

1 is just, as someone said above, what condiments are for. If I add tomato sauce to a dish, I don't hate the dish, I just like tomato sauce.

2 is also totally reasonable. I would be mortified if someone was choking down cold food so as not to offend me.

3 doesn't say to me "food is bad" so much as "food would be wicked awesome in a burrito".

4 might bug me a little, but mostly because my partner is usually present while I cook and I'd wonder why he hadn't said anything.

Some of our favourite meals originated out of "hey this is cool, but I reckon we should try adding X". And what better time to try adding X when you've got Meal - X right there in front of you?
posted by lwb at 11:35 PM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

I do a lot of the cooking in my household.

1) adding soy sauce or ketchup to a plated dish (dude, why not? it's what it's for?)

2) reheating in the microwave food that has cooled due to tardiness to table (the whole tardiness thing sounds, like, really controlling/paternal.)

3) getting tortillas from the cupboard to make burritos out of the prepared meal (TORTILLAS ARE DELICIOUS)

4) making pasta to go with a meal that is fully prepared and includes a starch such as potatoes or rice (not that odd; my husband and I are from different cultural backgrounds so we eat different starches)

5) returning a fully cooked dish to the stove in order to add an additional vegetable (example - adding tomatoes to a cooked stir-fry) (not super rude)

My answers would change if one person or the other was dealing with a dietary restriction. For example, there are some starches I can't/won't eat because they will make me sick, and they're the ones my husband loves.
posted by spunweb at 1:48 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd find 4 and 5 incredibly rude, the first couple of times. There is a distinction between guest / married couple, but I think that's based more on the fact that if you're married, you're seeing each other pretty constantly for a long period, and so can be expected to adapt to each other's preferences.

I believe that the foundation of "etiquette" is in accommodating the other party, so whether something is "rude" falls on a sliding scale based on the frequency of occurrence. Someone makes you a meal you're not totally satisfied with? Just eat it, they've given you something which they hope you will enjoy. Someone does that a dozen times? It's on them now, even if it's a gift, to make an effort to adjust it (caveat being if the eater's preferences are seemingly random and / or impossible).

That said, maybe eating at the same time doesn't work so well for Andy and Barbara. In my experience, coming to a meal ten minutes after rushing in from work vs. immediately after banging away at the stove for an hour aren't two experiences which mesh well.
posted by lucidium at 2:13 AM on October 26, 2012

1) 3. Not always rude but may imply bad (culinary) taste depending on the dish and the existing seasoning.
2) 0. Completely normal. Almost rude not to offer to do it yourself.
3) 4. Again, I wouldn't be offended but I find it odd that this could happen with many meals.
4) 5. Not so much rude as odd.
5) 5. Likewise, more odd than anything. It it was seasoning or something flavourful (i.e. you forgot garlic or ginger in a stir fry or salt or chocolate or coffee or marmite/other umami bomb in a chili) it would make sense. Tomatoes isn't rude but I don't get why someone would bother (unless its calculated to offend, of course).
posted by turkeyphant at 4:17 AM on October 26, 2012

It could be worse: I know a couple where one does all the cooking and the other adds salsa, soy sauce, butter, Old Bay, ketchup, lots of pepper etc etc to almost every meal.

The problem here is that this couple's 'Barbara' (aka my stepfather) has one or more of these additives on the table and usually starts adding before he even takes one taste of the meal.

I've watched him doctor his meals to the point where everyone else is done eating and he hasn't started. I've also seen him add butter, soy sauce or whatever and then go put the plate in the microwave because he's taken so much time the food isn't hot enough anymore.

(My mother deals with this by eating before he comes home - or when I fix the meal, she and I eat at the dinette and he sits at the kitchen bar and - and his habits are ignored or not seen. He's 73 and he's a grownup. He's allowed to eat how he wants to eat.)
posted by jaimystery at 4:25 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

The phrase "tardiness to table" is definitely a bit creepy, and makes me wonder about the rest of the complaints.

Regardless, however, as with most marriage issues, none of this is going to be resolved unless the two married people have a conversation about it. The opinions of all of us as to what is obnoxious and what isn't aren't really applicable to anyone else's marriage.
posted by miss tea at 5:06 AM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

My husband does 1 all the time (like, all the time) and it annoys the crud out of me to see something I've prepared carefully to taste how it does, doused in corn syrup with a bit of tomato. (To all those who say, but "that's what condiments are for" - I say, that goes for a hamburger, but not so much for coq au vin or pasta carbonara.) But I said something the first couple of times (like, "I'm sorry the food doesn't taste good") and he was like, Oh it's okay, I just like ketchup. So the annoyance is my issue, not his, and since it's one of a very few in a fine relationship, I let it go.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:13 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree with bq. 1 is only weird if it's not a dish that I think would taste good with soy sauce/ketchup, but for the most part I don't care. 2 is not an issue at all. 3 is just them being creative and I may actually be like "hey that's a good idea, pass me a tortilla!" 4 is a little weird because it's an awful lot of effort to avoid a particular starch and I would definitely ask if they were sick of potatoes/rice, for future reference. I wouldn't necessarily take it as a dig on my cooking abilities or insult unless they explicitly said so, though. 5 is about the same way but it also is sort of similar to 3.
posted by agress at 5:36 AM on October 26, 2012

If being late for the table is a problem has Andy tried not having dinner ready 10 minutes after his wife gets home? Maybe if "tardiness to the table" is a problem its because she needs a few minutes to decompress.

For the record i don't think in the context of a marriage any of these are really rude, more that its a different style of eating. It sounds like Andy wants a more formal sit down meal where he's in charge and Barbara sees it as a more casual kind of thing.

I also think its best to try not to be offended by ones loved ones when they didn't mean to offend. You really only get so many chances to change someones behavior for your sake, and in my mind none of these things are worth wasting that kind of relationship capital on. So she likes some soy sauce - it shouldn't be a big deal and surely there are other things to exert control over.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:41 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

The phrase "tardiness to table" is definitely a bit creepy
How is expecting your partner to come to the table before their dinner goes cold, creepy?

With 4 is Barbara eating the prepared starches as well as the pasta? A lot of people seem to be assuming that she's eating the pasta instead, whereas I assumed she was eating them both? Are portion sizes perhaps an issue? In 3-5 (particularly 3&4) Barbara is adding to the meal - maybe the problem is that Andy isn't serving large enough portions for her liking?

1. Depends on the food, there are some things that are completely normal to add ketchup or soy sauce to. Some things would be weird and is either a reflection on the food or the eater. Some people put salt/pepper on everything (without tasting first), its rude but not really a comment on the quality of the food - does she add ketchup/soy sauce to food she makes herself?

2. Reheating food is not in itself rude - why has the food gone cold? Unavoidable delays (bad traffic for example) or is Barbara not coming to the table when told food is ready?

3 - 5. Disrespectful to the food and the cook but 4&5 I think indicate a different attitude to meal times, it seems less important to Barbara to eat with Andy (unless she expects him to wait while she cooks pasta!), I would also be concerned that the meals aren't large enough or starchy enough for Barbara's tastes. Does Barbara have a weight problem? She might feel that Andy is trying to control her through smaller portions and that could lead to her overcompensating with the extra starches. If she doesn't have a weight problem then he's obviously not serving enough food if she can regularly add tortillas or a serving of pasta to the meal without gaining weight.

A lot of these are IMO disrespectful and if I were Andy I wouldn't cook for her anymore. If someone goes to the trouble of cooking you a meal, you turn up on time, eat it without complaint (unless its really inedible), thank them and unless its a one-off give feedback on how it could be improved next time. But TBH, it sounds like Barbara would rather cook for herself anyway.
It sounds like a communication/preference issue. It sounds like Andy wants a proper sit down dinner every day and Barbara would prefer to grab something when she's ready. I think they both need to have a very frank discussion about what they want from these meal times so they're both on the same page here.

Of course, we only have one side of this story and it seems like its Andy's side. I would love to hear Barbara's perspective.
posted by missmagenta at 5:55 AM on October 26, 2012

Maybe one of the problems is that to Andy, when he cooks it's a nice sit-down meal that they're having together, and to Barbara, when Andy cooks it's some food to eat? Because the potentially "rude" behaviors mostly sound like Barbara is treating the food Andy makes kind of the same way she would treat a Hot Pocket. I can see why she would do that: she just got home from work! She's hungry! But on the other hand I can see why Andy would be annoyed about it: he worked hard on that meal!

What if instead of "cooking three or four meals a week" Andy cooked one nice meal that was mutually agreed upon to be a sit-down meal: Andy uses his most tried-and-true cooking techniques and requests Barbara's input as to what she wants in order to create the most successful meal possible, and Barbara agrees to be there on time and eat what she said she wanted. The rest of the week A & B can eat something really easy (maybe homemade by Andy, maybe not) and Barbara is allowed to mess with it however she wants, no comment.
posted by mskyle at 6:00 AM on October 26, 2012

It all sounds kind of sad.
I would think Barbara is trying to eat her emotions with all those additional touches.

Andy might also think she's being passive agressive and doing it out of a sense that she's the one who goes out to work, she has a right to do things as she wants to do them.

In any case this situation lacks respect and respect is fundamental for the long term health of a relationship
posted by Wilder at 6:08 AM on October 26, 2012

This will vary by person. Answers below are for me personally:

Soy sauce - I guess I underseasoned it? Will do better next time.
Ketchup - Wtf mate?
Reheating - no problem.
3, 4, and 5 - ok- make your own dinner next time :)
posted by ftm at 6:10 AM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

This is a lot more than manners.

1. This is a preference. Some people just like ketchup on everything. Gross, but true. I'm from Pittsburgh, I probably use more ketchup (Pittsburgh Tomato Coulis) than the average person. People in the South travel with hot sauce. This is just a thing.

2. Why has the food been plated up and allowed to get cold if Barbara isn't in the dining room/kitchen ready to eat? This is easily remedied. Leave the food warm, in the oven/pots, until Barbara has had a chance to change her clothes and take a pee. Or let each person dish up his own meal, in his or her own time.

3. The tortilla thing is weird. It leads me to believe that what's on the plate is kind of a mess, and perhaps not as calorie dense as Barbara would like. If it works, why would Andy care?

4. The pasta thing is strange. Especially with no explanation. Why don't Andy and Barbara talk to each other? Is Barbara tired of rice or potatoes? Is the rice not done correctly? Are the potatoes flavored with something strange? (Like mashed potatoes made with chicken broth instead of butter and cream.)

5. One can only assume that Barbara doesn't like the stir-fry and she's trying to salvage it. I don't like stir-fry. At all. Tomatoes wouldn't help it. But hey, at least Barbara didn't dump it down the sink or feed it to the dog.

It sounds to me like Barbara isn't all that enthralled with Andy's cooking and is trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Perhaps Barbara can do some of the cooking and Andy can eat later.

Barbara and Andy need to talk about it, but given the way that Andy has framed these questions, I'd say that Andy is pretty sensitive about this subject and is hard to talk to about it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:11 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dude. Andy and Barbara need to talk this out. You don't need to hear what a bunch of other people have to say about all this. This is your relationship. Etiquette doesn't really apply.

Also Barbara had better be shopping for those groceries and washing every dish and saying thank you after every meal, and making an effort to return the favor when she can.

And Andy needs to learn a life lesson—if you are putting a lot of effort into something that isn't appreciated, you should stop doing it. Maybe Barb will appreciate it more in its absence and be more grateful (which making food more to her preference doesn't contradict). Maybe Barb and Andy will decide to cook together instead, and make everyone happier. Maybe Barb will give Andy a break and find some healthy take-away to pick up on the way home from work.

Go talk. You're the only ones that can find the solution for yourselves.
posted by fontophilic at 6:33 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Generally speaking, any of these would be rude if done by a dinner guest, but not so much by a member of a cohabiting couple who eats together regularly. Not every dinner prepared at home is great, and you have to roll with that sometimes. 4 and 5 are higher on the rude scale than 1, 2, or 3, but still not worth taking offense over if they're done occasionally.

How much of a hand does Barbara have in meal preparation? If Andy makes dinner three or four nights a week, is Barbara in charge the remaining nights, or are they restaurant/takeout/frozen-dinner nights? I can see this sort of thing becoming a wedge if Andy's the only one doing the cooking, and Barbara never makes dinner but regularly takes Andy's stuff back to the kitchen to alter it. A more collaborative approach to cooking could go a long way here.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:49 AM on October 26, 2012

And Andy needs to learn a life lesson—if you are putting a lot of effort into something that isn't appreciated, you should stop doing it.

That's what I've done.

My partner's eating habits drive me a bit batty. I laughed at the account above of the stepfather doctoring food because that's one of the things he does. It was really a dilemma when we first moved in together, because in the past, I've felt like cooking was something I brought to relationships and it was weird and disappointing to realize I might as well not be doing it, for all the difference it made in my partner's life.

I'm not completely happy with the fact that we don't have a sit-down dinner together,but the time it frees up is a big compensation.
posted by BibiRose at 7:25 AM on October 26, 2012

Wow, amazed that something I do all the time is considered rude by so many people.

People's tastes are just different. Has Andy ever heard of 'supertasters'? Being a supertaster is a genetic thing and it can cause people to add salty condiments to meals all the time because they don't experience it in the same way that a 'non-taster' does. It has zero to do with whether it's a good or bad meal. I add Thai garlic chili sauce, ketchup, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder or parmesan cheese to any savory meal that is not very spiced to begin with - or even a spicy meal - I have been known to add parmesan cheese to an Indian tikka masala dish.... I know this is food heresy but luckily my partner just laughs at my weirdness rather than yelling "fine! you cook dinner then!". I have always done this since I was a child. (I don't think I'm a supertaster necessarily, because I also am the type to add 3 packets of sugar to my coffee or otherwise love things sweeter than most people).

I'm also a picky eater. I will eat mashed potatoes or rice, and with some meals I think they're great, but most of the time, I'd rather have pasta with almost any meal. I love pasta! If my partner's sitting down to eat dinner and I'd have to spend an extra half hour making the pasta, I won't, but I'll just eat a smaller portion of dinner and make the pasta later to eat with the leftovers. It also matters what the main course is. Is he making potatoes or rice as the starch with eggplant parmigiana? Some things just belong with pasta.

Because I love carbohydrates, I would nearly always prefer a Mexican type meal in a burrito than on its own. I have had to force myself to stop eating burritos and just eat the insides of a burrito as a meal because of being on low carb diets, but it makes me very sad. I know that not everyone likes burritos or carbs as much as I do and so I wouldn't care if my partner decided to eat a burrito meal I made without the burrito on it, and I don't expect him to care if I eat it with a burrito.

The bottom line is that regardless of what I add to the meal or how I change it, I always thank my partner if he makes dinner and try to show him how grateful I am for it (and whoever did not cook must do the dishes/cleanup in my opinion). Just because I like my food a certain way doesn't mean that I want to come home from a long day of work and start cooking a meal myself - a cooked meal that I just need to throw some sauce on or put in a burrito saves me 30 to 60 minutes of time out of my day that I can now use to relax. And even though I do often add something or change the food, I think my partner is an amazing cook and a far better cook than I myself am.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:41 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

How is expecting your partner to come to the table before their dinner goes cold, creepy?

Because there is no reference whatsoever of consultation or consideration of that partner's timing. Just that he puts the food on the table and she doesn't come eat it right away.

I acknowledge I may be reading more into it than is there.
posted by miss tea at 9:01 AM on October 26, 2012

I think andy & barbara HAVE discussed it and each one thought the other one was crazy and that's where the question came from-- they needed outside opinions.

i think that complaining about 1-3 might lead to barbara doing 4-5 because she can't win so why try. 1-3 are normal to me, 4-5 are weird but i can't say that they're rude without more context.

"plated" and "tardiness" stick out to me as strange word choices when we're talking about a married couple having a weeknight dinner. from what i can gather, it's more likely that andy's expectations are off than that barbara is doing something wrong.
posted by katieanne at 9:20 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

1 & 2 seems ok.
3 is a may be
4 & 5 definitely rude
posted by WizKid at 9:33 AM on October 26, 2012

My mind is seriously blown that there are plenty of people who would take me using condiments on food that they prepared as a personal affront to them. They are condiments, not a sign that you have not cooked an awesome meal. Maybe I just like hot sauce on everything. Who the hell cares what other people are eating if you're not being forced to eat it as well? My husband does the vast majority of cooking in our house and if he was seething with resentment every time I was late coming home from work or wanted a damn tortilla with my food, he could take the food and shove it. I'd just make myself something, I don't need the added spice of passive aggression in my meal.
posted by crankylex at 9:37 AM on October 26, 2012 [5 favorites]

Some of these things might be considered rude, wierd or gauche if Barbara were a guest in Andy's home. But if Andy and Barbara are married and sharing food prep duties, and Barbara is an adult eating in her own home, she has the freedom to augment and adjust her meals however she prefers. Having control over our own food is primal and essential. The idea that Barbara might not be allowed to adjust the temperature or flavour of her own daily meals is strangely controlling.

If there are other factors at play—if, for example, Barbara is actually telling Andy he's a shitty cook—that's another matter entirely. But as presented here, Barbara isn't doing anything wrong. The situation could be solved by a) Andy communicating more closely with Barbara on days when he is cooking about how she would prefer her meals, and then trying to make meals she would prefer (which may or may not involve becoming a better than mediocre cook); or b) Andy backing off and letting Barbara do whatever she wants with her own dinner.
posted by hot soup girl at 10:10 AM on October 26, 2012 [5 favorites]

If someone started adding or changing my meals to the point that they were using the damn stove, I'd be like "oh hey you hate my cooking so you can just cook for yourself, enjoy".

Condiments and tortillas are a grey area. One of the most hilariously petty (but serious!) fights in my marriage was over the time I worked my ass of to make a great meal with all the flavors balanced and shit and my partner was like "oh hey hot sauce" before even tasting it. No no no. On the other hand, some people are salt fiends and will never be happy unless they can add salt.

I don't know. We eventually quit doing the "balanced sit-down meal every night" thing because shit like this was too stressful and pointless.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:42 AM on October 26, 2012

Oh and my partner and I come from very, very different backgrounds in terms of eating meals with family. His mom plates everything in fancy dishes and stuff like that and her meals were (and are) sacrosanct--it was considered super rude to be anything but grateful and eat exactly what you were given, out of respect for her time and effort. My family always ate out and ate exactly what each one of us wanted, with all our quirky preferences being accommodated and complaints being acceptable. If there's a similar disconnect in terms of family traditions between the two of you, that might be your problem. A little empathy for that goes a long way.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:45 AM on October 26, 2012

There's a lot going on here that doesn't have to do with cooking. How do you feel about meals in general? Does "3 or 4 times a week" mean she's cooking the other meals? Do those meals go without incident? There's a disconnect between Andy being a "mediocre" cook and simultaneously being a little controlling about what Barbara does with her food. I'd go crazy if I had to eat meals I didn't enjoy 50% of the time, and got flack for trying to make them work better for me.

Every one of the scenarios listed has happened in our kitchen. For me, cooking is a skill that I've learned through years of practice, and eating tasty food makes me happy. He was more "eh, let's throw stuff together and see what happens." Sometimes this worked, but sometimes it didn't, but it was frustrating to me to come home from a really long day at work and be hungry and be faced with something that was just plain bad. Part of it was that I grew up poor, so eating well is a personal security blanket for me, and wasting food made me feel bad. But then we talked about how we have different approaches to eating and cooking (not to mention different tastes), and none of the things listed would bother me in the least, because I know exactly where he's coming from.
posted by snickerdoodle at 11:19 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

1-3 totally fine. Cold food is gross.
4 seems like Barbara is hungry, wants more starch, doesn't like rice. Why not discuss this? It doesn't seem rude, but it's odd that this happens so often. Then again, if Barbara waited until after dinner was through to make herself more food, there would be less disruption to dinner.
5 is sort of bothersome, and if it interrupts the meal it's kind of self-centered. I think Barbara could be a little more forgiving and just eat whatever without tomatoes, and Andy could make it with tomatoes next time.

Though if you're trying to frame this as "who is rude" instead of "how do we make everyone feel better about dinner" I think you may be focusing on the wrong thing. No one on the internet is going to agree about what is rude. Andy feels a lack of appreciation, that's a problem. Barbara has specific needs from a meal that aren't being met, also a problem.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:07 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

None of it would offend me at all. Food preferences can we weird not only culturally, and emotionally, but the body can dictate strong cravings as well.

Sometimes I really really NEED something spicy, or salty or sweet with my meal. Sometimes I get an inexplicable craving for eggplant or cabbage which I proceed to make as a side, knowing SO dislikes both. I then proceed to demolish the entire pan, along with dinner, knowing that my body likely has a specific craving for a reason.

Since Andy's cooking is mediocre to begin with, Barbara should be free to do what she needs to make it better, more palatable or enjoyable.
posted by tatiana131 at 12:08 PM on October 26, 2012

1. Adding condiments is almost never rude. People have different tastes.

2. Yeah, eating together is nice, but if Andy plans on having dinner within 10 minutes of Barbara getting home from work, and that schedule doesn't work for her, perhaps they need to have a discussion. Re-heating cold food is not rude.

3. No. Burritos are awesome. If I cooked my significant other dinner and he grabbed a tortilla to turn it into a burrito I would high-five him for culinary inventiveness.

4. Kind of weird and annoying for both Barbara and Andy. Now both of them have cooked dinner. Why not ask "hey, next time I make this, would you prefer pasta instead of rice with it?" or Andy could send a text or call before he starts cooking to see if Barbara wants rice/potatoes/whatever. If Andy knows Barbara does not like rice, and cooks it for their shared meal anyway, that's kind of passive-aggressive.

5. Same as 4. Another thing to take into consideration is that things like produce go bad quickly--making sure that you use them all up before this happens is totally a good reason to throw more things into a dish.

If Andy does not take into account Barbara's taste preferences when he cooks dinner for the both of them, I would say that's pretty inconsiderate. It sounds like the meals are only "generally healthy and tasty" for Barbara if she augments them. However, if Andy thinks that adding a condiment to a dish is rude, perhaps Barbara will have difficulty voicing her opinions on what she actually would like him to prepare for dinner, for fear of offending Andy.

This description of Andy sounds a little like he's being controlling--being annoyed at someone for adding a condiment to a "plated" dish (maybe this is just a cultural thing, but I wouldn't plate a dish for my SO, he's an adult and can take as little or as much as he would like), "tardiness to the table", it sounds like a way you would describe a child's behavior.
posted by inertia at 1:10 PM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

I personally do not consider any of those rude. I do all of those things regularly or equivalent things and have those things done to me when I cook. But also I come from a family where we never had scheduled meal times and it was basically 'eat when you are hungry' type thing all the time.

There's really nothing rude about the first 2 (even from a guest). The third is effectively the same meal in a slightly different format. As for 4 and 5, I'm just going to reiterate what everybody else said - you're both adults, you're both capable of feeding yourselves and should be able to choose your food preferences according to your own tastes or sudden cravings.

And as for " chooses from a repertoire of foods which Andy and Barbara both enjoy"

Well, there you go. Say Barbara comes home and really would like her favorite starch or vegetable only to find out Andy didn't include it in his meal because, surprise, he's not a fan. This is hardly fair to Barbara, amiright? I think she has the right to include it in her meal if she so chooses, and it means no extra work for Andy. I can that a win win.
posted by electriic at 3:05 PM on October 26, 2012

Andy and Barbara have to make their own rules about this. In my house none of those would be rude, and this would even be acceptable sometimes:

6) Ignore what was cooked and nuke a Hot Pocket.

There's no point in listening to all of our anecdotes and manners advice, married couples get to live in their own little world with their own rules of etiquette. Communicate and enjoy it.
posted by mmoncur at 5:36 PM on October 26, 2012

I find myself stuck on the phrase "Assume that Andy's cooking is no better than mediocre". That sounds very odd to my ear. There's a difference between "basic, nothing fancy, home-style, maybe a little predictable" and "no better than mediocre". I'm not a gourmet cook, but the dishes I make are tasty (or I don't make them more than once). The idea of being regularly presented with food that was "no better than mediocre" yet it being a problem for me to adjust the flavor with soy sauce, hot sauce, lemon pepper, etc. makes me slightly twitchy.

Everything else — talk to each other. Why is "tardiness to table" a problem? Does Barbara just love burritos or is she trying to make an otherwise-unpalatable meal edible? Does she prefer pasta to other starches? Does she feel the need for a higher proportion of vegetable matter in a meal than Andy does? (That last one is absolutely the case around here — I had to explain to my husband that when planning meals, potatoes do not count as a "vegetable". Yes, they're plan matter. No, they're not a vegetable, they're a starch. Similarly, pasta is not a vegetable just because wheat is a plant.)

More communication is almost always better than less. And communicating with each other is better than communicating with semi-random strangers on the internet.
posted by Lexica at 7:52 PM on October 26, 2012 [4 favorites]

On the abovementioned scale of rudeness where 1 is nothing and 10 is very rude:

1) Completely normal (1). I grew up with a father who added tabasco to nearly everything (the rest of us hated spicy food), and soy sauce lived on the dining table. It's just a flavor they liked - not a reflection on anyone's cooking.

That said, if they added tomato ketchup to... cheesecake, I might change my opinion.

2) Depends on why the food is cold:

(a) Andy isn't great at timing everything to be done at the same time. Thus, food is cold. In this case, heating it up is (1) completely normal.

(b) They have different preferences for how hot food should be. Some people like, say, soup hot enough to almost burn. Others like soup lukewarm. In this case, (1) completely normal.

(c) Cooking was finished at a time Andy knew Barbara wouldn't be ready (e.g. usual dinnertime is 7pm, she let him know she's having a shower at 6, he says 'Dinnertime' at 6:05pm. Or, she's usually not even home till 6:30pm. Or, she's requested that she get a bit more time to clean up/relax after work prior to dinner (or should have made this request.) In this case, this is a bit rude from Andy.

(d) Food is cold because she just ignored the call to the table without a good reason - reasonably rude (3-5), depending on what the partners expect. Some families expect a sitdown dinner, and in others - "dinner's in the oven, come get it when you're ready!"

3) A little odd. If it's a meal that's really suited for a burrito, then it probably isn't that rude on an occasional basis (2-3).

4) Again, depends:
a) if Barbara is well known to 'hate' potatos, or that particular style of preparation of potatos, and Andy cooks them anyway on a regular basis, then... both parties are being a little rude (3). I refuse to eat boiled potatos on a regular basis, and my partner refuses to eat couscous. Guess what: he eats boiled potatos, I eat couscous, and whoever did the cooking cooks both - because we know what each other likes!

b) if Barbara hasn't expressed any particular dislike for that form of starch... ok, a bit odd. If she's getting up from the table to cook said pasta, without any prior reason, it's rude (5+)

a) There's some health reason for adding additional vegetables, and the original meal didn't have many. In this case, rude but not as bad (4)
b) Ok, yeah, a bit rude (6+)
- note that cooking a side without returning anything to the pan is different

In general, if we're cooking for each other, we'll run the potential planned meal and mealtime past the other person, even if it's in passing 'Hey, about to start cooking dinner. You ok with 7pm?'/'Heading to the shops - feel like chicken stirfry tomorrow?' We don't intentionally cook things the other person dislikes (or provide an alternative, or cook it on the side, even if it means extra work.) Generally, lunch is DIY, so if there's some meal you love and they hate, you make it for lunch on a weekend, or some night when they're out. If you want to try and cook something new, and it doesn't match the other person's tastebuds... they're free to make an alternative.

We're also fairly flexible in terms of busy-ness. If someone wants to eat later than usual, for whatever reason (be it a computer game, work, sleep, whatever,) as long as they say so before the meal's cooked - it's fine.
posted by Ashlyth at 1:24 AM on October 28, 2012

I asked my husband about this and he was a tad more vehement than me. 1 and 2 were 'normal' and okay, 3 would garner a 'what the fuck man?' but 4 and 5 were untenable to him (but he did concede that if having stroganoff with an unsuitable starch, a burrito would be acceptable). But, tge same as everyone, he couldn't work out how it got so bad in the first place - part of the fun of food is discussing it! And even if you don't want to do that, it's a reasonably big enough issue to warrant the discussion anyway.
posted by geek anachronism at 3:21 AM on October 28, 2012

I feel like something weird is going on here that you're not telling us. But for sure, this is a relationship problem and not a food etiquette problem. Are y'all/they communicating? Are either or both of you/them upset with the status quo? What are the rest of the relationship and the parties' circumstances like? This can't be answered in a vacuum, and I suspect that attempting to will only exacerbate the underlying relationship problems.
posted by J. Wilson at 10:26 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

all we can do is put ourselves in the shoes of one or other partner. I have been concerned enough about these two to check back on this thread and it seems there are lots of different styles but a basic understanding that the communicative style is far more damaging than the cooking style or eating pattern of either.
posted by Wilder at 11:41 AM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

> How is expecting your partner to come to the table before their dinner goes cold, creepy?

We're getting distracted by the word "tardiness," I think. Teachers describe students as "tardy." Adults do not call their equals "tardy."

Mr. Corpse adds sauerkraut to just about everything I make. I don't take it personally; the guy just really likes sauerkraut.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:43 PM on October 28, 2012

How did you know I was Andy?

Thank you for your feedback. I did some gender switching and threw in a couple of test questions to show 'Barbara' (not his real name) that Metafilter was unbiased. I do not actually object to anyone putting ketchup on food I prepare. The other stuff does annoy me.

Those who speculated that we grew up with different dinner table expectations are correct. I also didn't mention that we have small kids and I want to set a good example for them.

To answer some questions:
Barbara prefers pasta with everything. I get tired of eating pasta every night so sometimes I make rice or potatoes instead. Dinner is ready when Barbara gets home by his request. And yes we actually talk about stuff before posting it to Metafilter.

I am very glad to hear that some other people consider some of this stuff rude because Barbara was convinced that I was grade A insane (note: exaggeration for effect).
posted by bq at 12:45 PM on November 27, 2012

I did some gender switching and threw in a couple of test questions to show 'Barbara' (not his real name) that Metafilter was unbiased. I do not actually object to anyone putting ketchup on food I prepare.

I wish you hadn't done that. Make the names gender-neutral if that's a concern, but deliberately giving false information feels unpleasantly superior.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:19 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]

Is there a reason that you can't have both pasta and rice/potatoes, given that Barbara prefers one and you the other? I mean, you don't have to eat them. You could even let him do the prep, since he's apparently fighting to do so!

Given that you mention kids, I'm going to take a wild guess that it's something to do with "the kids need to understand that they eat what is made, and if they don't, we don't make them a separate meal." Except, you know, Barbara's a grown-up, not a kid, and you're not in a position of being controller (for lack of a better word) or educator for Barbara. And, well, there's debate about whether controlling kids' intake and choices that tightly is even a good thing. Whether or not to set an example on this is obviously something that's up to you and Barbara, but I know that if my partner insisted I behave exactly as he expects the kids to behave, forever and ever, I would...well, I'd probably be sneaking out to the Quick-e-Mart after dinner, in the short term, and simmering with resentment in the long-term, and neither of those is great for a relationship.
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 4:16 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Given that you mention kids, I'm going to take a wild guess that it's something to do with "the kids need to understand that they eat what is made, and if they don't, we don't make them a separate meal." Except, you know, Barbara's a grown-up, not a kid, and you're not in a position of being controller (for lack of a better word) or educator for Barbara. And, well, there's debate about whether controlling kids' intake and choices that tightly is even a good thing. Whether or not to set an example on this is obviously something that's up to you and Barbara, but I know that if my partner insisted I behave exactly as he expects the kids to behave, forever and ever, I would...well, I'd probably be sneaking out to the Quick-e-Mart after dinner, in the short term, and simmering with resentment in the long-term, and neither of those is great for a relationship.

I expect my partner and my child to understand compromise. Which means that sometimes they don't get pasta. It would be better if there were a third option preferable to both but there apparently isn't so the compromise is sometimes one doesn't get what one wants. And that is a HUGE lesson for a kid to learn. Our kid knows that daddy prefers meat/cheese heavy meals and mama prefers vegetarian and we switch that around. We all know she loves wraps so we have them regularly. We don't have a rule that says 'at every meal daddy gets bacon and cheese on the side, mama has no meat and toddler has it in a wrap' because that's not how compromise works, that's not how eating a well-rounded diet works and that's not how we, as a family, do dinner.

I mean, people accuse parents of 'short order cooking' for having bread as an option on the table if you don't like your dinner - getting up and cooking something else entirely is hardly a better option to show them. Show them negotiation, show them compromise, show them something other than 'Barbara gets what Barbara wants, regardless of how it affects the rest of the family'. And 'we go to ridiculous lengths to assuage Barbara's preferences otherwise Barbara interrupts mealtime to redo a meal'. Particularly since Barbara can't exactly help with prep if meals are ready as soon as he gets home. I would be simmering with resentment if my partner wanted meals ready when he got home, demanded they assuage all of his preferences AND interrupted mealtime to redo them if I didn't get it right. Not to mention then still not coming to the table when it's ready. And thought somehow this was a good thing to teach our child.

I say this as someone who had knockdown and drag out fights with my mother about 'waiting until dad gets home' before eating and began, in retaliation, to eat sandwiches in my room alone or skip dinner because fuck that noise - if dad couldn't drum up the respect for the family to be home in time for a timely dinner, then why should I bother? He was usually at the pub, or in the shed, and would on occasion remake the dinner in a drunken haze and it was always unpleasant.
posted by geek anachronism at 7:53 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

This seems really different to me now that you mention kids. My take on it is, with kids in the mix, it's more important that the adults be flexible and tolerant. Not that the meal preparer become a short order cook, but that the mealtime not become a power struggle.

I grew up with two sisters, and the three of us all spent our teens and twenties with some form of eating disorder. I don't believe that any one thing causes these disorders. But the discomfort around meals in our family certainly didn't help. There was always the sense that my mother's cooking was not a success with my father, and as kids we all had different issues with food, and everybody just made a big honking deal about all of it. I agree with geek anachronism that there should be some level of compromise, but it should be low-key.
posted by BibiRose at 8:50 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Maybe Andy could try to upgrade his cooking to upper-mediocre and Barbara could suck it up a bit, use ketchup, soy sauce, etc. judiciously, add a tortilla perhaps, apologize if she's delayed and the food is not as hot as she likes but Barbara should not be adding extra starches or augmenting Andy's dishes with other vegetables because that is just plain rude. Is Barbara cooking on the other 3-4 days and how do those meals go? Andy and Barbara need to discuss the underlying issues here.
posted by lois1950 at 9:27 PM on December 24, 2012

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